Brighton Highlights: 6 Things You Must Do

Brighton day trip travel guide things to do

Like most Londoners I love Brighton. Just over an hour away by train, it is London’s cool little sister. Everything is quite close together so it is easy to explore without a car. There are loads of fantastic food and drinking options and some great things to see. A Brighton Day Trip is perfect from London – and here are the Brighton Highlights: 

  1. Brighton Highlights – Brighton Pavilion

The Pavilion with the flowers in the foreground!

The Pavilion is quite a shock when you first see it. It really does look like it has been air lifted out of Istanbul and sent to Brighton! This seaside palace was created by John Nash and is now one of the most famous buildings in the UK.

Brighton Highlights Key Tips:

-the building is stunning front and back so make sure you check out both sides

-there is a lovely garden in front of the main entrance. The garden in the foreground and the pavilion in the background makes for a lovely photo

-there are displays of furniture and art inside. If you are into that kind of thing then head on in. Otherwise, the best bit of the Pavilion is the exterior and you can use the money you’ve saved for fish and chips!

Brighton is also near Eastbourne – if you like a cute english seaside town check out the Top 10 Things to do in Eastbourne.

2. Brighton Highlights – Visit the Pier

The famous Brighton Pier

No Brighton Day Trip would be complete without heading to Brighton Pier. This is perhaps the most famous pier in the UK. Brighton Beach is actually full of pebbles rather than sand although you can hire deck chairs.

The Pier is LOUD! If you are visiting on a weekend it will be crammed with people. There are many games to play and rides to go on if you are so inclined. Otherwise walk down and walk back and get yourself to the Lanes!

Brighton Beach with its famous stripey deck chairs

Brighton Highlights Key Tips:

-unless you are after fairy floss don’t eat on the Pier – there is much better food in the Lanes

-the best photos of the pier are from Brighton Beach

-if you are around at sunset the burnt out old pier makes a great photo

Looking for another great coastal town in England? Check out this post on the 12 Unmissable Things to do in Newquay

3. Brighton Highlights – Eat Fish and  Chips

Brighton is renowned for fish and chips and there are MANY choices. It is quite difficult to get bad fish and chips in Brighton due to the level of competition but of course, there are varying levels of quality.

Classic fish and chips in Rottingdean

Brighton Highlights Key Tips:

-The iconic fish and chip shop is the Regency on the foreshore

-Fish and chips always taste better eaten at the beach even if it is full of pebbles!

-if you are feeling like a bit of exercise hire a bike and ride west to Rottingdean – literally just follow the foreshore. Once you get there head to Smugglers which is just off the foreshore for the ultimate British chippie experience! This is an old-fashioned style fish and chips shop and absolutely delicious! Just don’t order the wine – it’s all about the fish and chips.

If you’re travelling around England check out my posts on Where to Stay in the Cotswolds, the best Cotswolds Tour from London options, the best London Food Tours, 2 Fantastic Luxury Hotels Yorkshire, the New Forest, Exeter, Exmouth and lovely Brighton.

Great menu – apart from the jellied eels shudder!

4. Brighton Highlights – Wander the Lanes

This for me is the highlight of a Brighton Day Trip. The Lanes and North Lane are a series of small mostly pedestrianized streets not far from the Brighton foreshore. They are populated with numerous restaurants, shops, cafes, bars and some street art. There are some great vintage shops like Finders Keepers and if you are after a sex toy there are quite a few options available!

Brighton Beach – all pebbles!

Brighton Highlights Key Tips:

-the hot new restaurant in the Lanes is Pascere – check it out

-if you are visiting on the weekend enjoy a Sunday Roast at either Earth and Stars or Lion and Lobster

the Office pub/bar has 40 different Gins to try

5. Brighton Highlights – Grab a Coffee and a Cake

The Lanes are full of amazing looking coffee and cake shops. I think it is virtually impossible to leave the area without having enjoyed at least one decadent cake! Brighton also has a strong “Craft” coffee scene eg there are baristas galore. 

So many delicious options at the Flour Pot bakery

Brighton Highlights Key Tips:

-The Flour Pot is a great spot for coffee and cake and a light breakfast or lunch

Pelicano has amazing cakes!

Grow 40 has an outstanding breakfast menu and serves a great coffee 

6. Brighton Highlights – Street Art

Brighton is full of fantastic street art. There are quite a few tours on offer.

Doggy street art!

Brighton Highlights Key Tip:

The Brighton tourism board has put together a great list of the best 10 street art examples. Why not do your own tour and discover more of a Brighton on the way?

If you have a bit more time why not add a spa stay into your trip? Ockenden Manor is only about 30 minutes away from Brighton and offers a fabulous English Spa Experience – Read my Ockenden Manor Review

Brighton Highlights Logistics:

The easiest way to get to Brighton from London is by train. Trains run out of Kings Cross, Victoria and Clapham Junction. It will take about 90 minutes from Kings Cross and about 65 minutes from Clapham Junction. Trains run quite frequently eg 2-3 an hour. Once you get to Brighton station it is an easy short walk to the Lanes and the Pier.

Looking for more great places to visit by the sea in England? Check out my post on Exmouth Boat Trip and Great things to do in Exmouth for Adults

Brighton Highlights Useful Links:

Brighton has a great tourism website that is well worth checking out before you go click here 

And I have written a more extensive guide to Brighton For Girl About the Globe

Heading to London? Check out some of my other posts here:

The Secret Food Markets of London

Borough Market Tour

London’s best new restaurants 2017

Great Restaurants near Victoria Station: The Nova

London Afternoon Tea Mad Hatter style 

A great London Graffiti and Street Art Tour

Quirky London Bar based on the TV Show Breaking Bad

WW2 Themed Bar The Bletchley

The Gin Bar The Distillery


Rather stay the night? Click here for some great Brighton accommodation options

Or heading back to London? Click here for some London accommodation options


Looking for flights to London? Click here for some great deals.

Or check out my favourite Middle Eastern airlines – particularly if you’re flying Business Class

Qatar Airways London

Etihad Airways London

Or take the train

Or Hire a Car 


Looking to do a tour while you’re in Brighton? Click here for some ideas

Or a tour in London?

Travelling solo and interested in joining a group tour?

Just You Holidays United Kingdom

Exodus Holidays United Kingdom

Explore Holidays United Kingdom

G Adventures United Kingdom

Click here for a Great Deal on Travel Money

Need travel insurance? Click here

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Also published on Medium.

Brighton Highlights: The 6 Must Do activities
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Brighton Highlights: The 6 Must Do activities
Planning a Brighton day trip from London? Here are the Brighton Highlights that you absolutely can't miss
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